Reddit’s mobile app has just introduced a Discover Tab, a new feature which will recommend subreddits it thinks you might be interested in. If you already lose hours of sleep reading r/AmItheAsshole, this will probably have you losing even more.
“We’re ushering in a new era of discovery on Reddit, with images and video top of mind,” said Director of Product for Content and Communities Jason Costa. “We’re making discovering relevant content and communities more intuitive with the Discover Tab.”
Like YouTube recommendations or TikTok’s For You page, Reddit’s Discover Tab will look at what content you already engage with to determine what new subreddits to recommend. Specifically, Reddit’s algorithm will consider how long you spend scrolling through each subreddit, as well as which ones you’re already subscribed to. So a lot of time browsing Monstera pics on r/houseplants could have r/IndoorGarden popping up in your Discover Tab, for example.
This new feature currently isn’t available on desktop though, so you’ll have to download Reddit’s official iOS or Android app to find out what subreddits it thinks you need to know about.
You can find the Discover Tab in the Reddit app by tapping the compass icon next to the home button on the bottom of the screen. From there you can filter your recommendation feed via topic, letting you focus on whichever subject you’d like to explore in the moment. The app will also allow you to choose whether you see more or less of certain content, or to hide it completely — handy if r/nosleep is all the spooky content you can handle.
While ostensibly useful, social media algorithms such as these have a less than stellar reputation. YouTube and TikTok have both been criticised for recommending problematic videos, which can lead viewers down dangerous rabbit holes of conspiracy theories, misinformation, and harm.
Fortunately Reddit’s Discover Tab will exclude quarantined subreddits, which may contain content that is highly offensive, upsetting, or promotes misinformation. For example, notorious subreddit r/The_Donald was quarantined for inciting violence in 2019, before ultimately being banned under Reddit’s hate speech policy a year later.
“The feed under Discover Tab currently works with a data set that excludes sensitive communities and content that is not safe for work,” a Reddit spokesperson told Mashable. “The Discover Tab will not show content revolving around conspiracy theories, political extremism, racism, sexism, homophobia, or disordered eating.”
Of course, quarantined subreddits are still there behind warning screens if you go looking for them, but at least Reddit’s Discover Tab won’t actively recommend them.